Read His Words Before Ours!
I was eight years old, enthralled with having become a believer.
Of course, as anyone who has married knows, I had no idea at the beginning, the depth of sacrifice this decision would require, but neither did I know how rich the treasure was that awaited me.
I chose Christ following a series of dreams the Lord used to point clearly to Himself as being the Only One who could eternally be my Rescuer. Jesus sealed me as His own, forever rescuing me from the wages of death because of my sin, and I was ready to follow Him in believer’s baptism.
It was a small, country church, quintessential with its white clapboard exterior, red velvet carpet, wooden pews that groaned when you sat (or wiggled), a bell tower that tolled when rung by hand at the conclusion of every service, and a rough-hewn stone baptismal pool that smelled of sulfur.
As traditional as church was, these hymns were carving a foundation of Scriptural truth into the bedrock of my heart. When I was plunged into the cold waters that Sunday, coming up gasping for breath and shivering, I requested the hymn that had been playing in my heart on repeat for weeks…. A New Name In Glory.
I only knew the chorus, but that was enough.
There’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
And the white robed angels sing the story,
A sinner has come home.
For there’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
With my sins forgiven I am bound for Heaven,
Never more to roam
“It’s mine! O yes! It’s mine!”
Jesus was mine, I was safe! Rescued from death, bound to the Savior and made new that I might run free in life everlasting. Something deep began when I gave Jesus my everything, an anchor was placed. I was His and He was mine, “never more to roam”.
Storms were coming. I didn’t realize how many or how fierce, but the solidity of my name being written down in glory would hold firm, despite my efforts to run hard and fast away from the Lord. This holding me, binding me. This writing my name down in Glory, this was a forever vow, and it wasn’t held by my ability, only Christ’s.
Jesus said it like this:
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.
No one will snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all.
No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-30)
Christ is both the Giver and Securer of eternal life.
Salvation begins with Jesus, is continued because of Jesus,
and is brought to completion because of Jesus.
No attempt on our behalf could even make a smudge of a difference.
But neither is everyone automatically rescued from the deadly consequences of sin.
When we choose to trust Jesus, taking Him at His word, made clear in Scripture, that He is willing to take our sin and punishment on Himself and give us His own flawless righteousness, that’s faith.
Faith that pleases God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Faith the Lord credits to us as righteousness because of Christ. (Romans 4:3-5)
Faith that allows His salvation to bind us to Himself. (Romans 5:1-2)
Faith that makes us conquerors over Sin and Death. (1 John 5:4)
Jesus says of those believers whom He has made conquerors:
The one who conquers will be dressed in white clothes,
and I will never erase his name from the Book of Life,
but will acknowledge his name before my Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5)
My name is written down in the Book of Life, I stake my life on it.
But I’ve also been given a New Name.
The Name of Righteousness Himself; I am Christ’s, I wear His Name.
Shame is not mine.
Neither is regret.
Despair, emptiness, lost, broken, wounded, scarred, these are not mine.
I am His and He is mine.
As believers, we have been Made New.
We are given a new life
with a new purpose,
wearing our new name.
We are called to purposefully, intentionally love people. (Romans 13:8-12)
Love by sharing the eternal hope of Jesus!
Love because the Day is near when time will cease and Glory will begin.
The Day when the time for writing down new names will end.
A Day when the books are opened.
“Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.” (Revelation 20:12)
A Day when the Lord’s Justice will finally set the record straight with all who have sinned against Him, which is all of us.
Our only hope is faith in Christ.
Which is enough!
Faith is enough, Sisters!
But it is the only thing that counts.
“And anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life
was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)
That Lake of Fire is eternal punishment, rightly deserved because of our sins.
God is not un-just, payment for sin must be made on an individual level.
Which is why, out of vast love we will never understand, Jesus stood in the gap, taking the punishment on Himself for us.
The very moment, I said yes to Jesus, I was covered for eternity by His righteousness.
Those steps into the chilly waters of baptism were my first steps of a life lived out to follow Him forever.
It was the beginning of being made new.
The beginning of wearing His Name!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!